Blue Pumpkin Corsetry: I’ve been making corsets professionally for three years now. I was studying the construction techniques and pattern manufacture for two, previous to that.
I really do believe that a good quality corset is comfortable and wearable. I also believe that a corset can be made for any occasion, not just formal or bedroom occasions.
I have made corsets for clients all over the World and for all manner of reasons. From underwear, to office wear and day-to-night corsets.
My oldest daughter refuses to eat beans. As a matter of fact, she can pick through a bowl of chili eating everything but the beans with incredible accuracy and persistence. Ask her to clean her room and it “takes too long, Mom”, but she will sit for hours picking the beans from any dish without blinking an eye.
The rest of us, on the other hand, adore the musical fruit. Entire meals can, and often are, be based around beans — of one variety or many, we’re not picky. Black, dark and light red kidney, great northern, navy, white, and yes, even lima. Soups, stews, salads, pasta dishes; the options are endless.
And why not? They’re not only essentially a super food — packed with protein, fiber and nutrients galore — they’re easily grown and even easier to store. Whether canned, frozen or dried beans keep well for months and lend themselves equally as nicely to both hearty winter and light, yet filling summer fare making them prime candidates as a year-round local eating staple.
My favorite for meals is the black bean (chick peas, for obvious reasons — hummus! — win out for snacks.) Tossed with onion, sundried tomatoes, roasted corn, a generous handful of fresh chopped cilantro, a pinch of ground pepper and the juice of a freshly squeezed lime — or three, we love limes — they’re always a hit. Served warm next to fish tacos or cold as a mid-summer lunch all their own after a night spent marinating in the fridge, it’s versatile to boot.
What are your favorites? What beans must I try this year and in what inventive ways should I prepare them? Share with me your tips, tricks and recipes — my oldest daughter will not appreciate your kindness, but the rest of us sure will, and who knows her taste buds just might come around someday.
Every summer my family and I go camping in Door County, Wisconsin. We meet up with my folks, and my sister and spend our days on the beach and nights sleeping in a tent. Tent camping is an adventure unto itself. It can be relaxing at times, laying on an air mattress and watching the stars through the zip up screen. Pretending to mind having to go lie down early with the kids, but actually feeling cozy and safe listening to the buzz of conversation and smelling the campfire while I lie there.
Other times, not so relaxing. Like when my son was teething and woke up with an arched back screech of pain. I could tell immediately that the wails were going to be unending and loud so I scooped him up and ran for the minivan. Jumped in and let out a chortle of victory. We made it! We would not be waking up the other campers again tonight! Until my son arched in pain again, stiffening his legs into an unbending position that pressed his feet down directly onto the horn.
We were fortunate enough to be able to visit the North of Scotland this past week – in fact it is the furthest point of mainland UK.
The air feels a little easier on my lungs, I am greeted with the almost Welsh-sounding accent when I enter into a store and there is enough beautiful scenery you’d never tire of looking out at; even the sky is a work of art.
During the day it is blue skies and fluffy clouds, with faint rain that never seems to last too long. At night you can see stars aplenty twinlking away in the sky; very much like the famed nursery rhyme promised.
Another beauty from this part of the World is the Aurora jewellery shop that can be found in town up here.
Aurora are an Orkney based jewellers who specialise in making signature pieces, dazzling collections and they insist that modern machinery can’t create the jewelery they make – so every piece is handmade.
Their jewelery also comes in a very luxurious and plush presentation box – so no skimping on the little details.
I love to visit the Aurora shop whenever I am here – they always have something new and different in their collection, or they expand upon a much loved collection.
This break has been a welcome one for me and my little family. We’re doing things we don’t normally do at home; watching TV for hours at a time, forgetting to brush our teeth at night (read: I have been forgetting) and spending time with three of our favourite furry friends (two cats and a dog, just if you’re curious.)
I’ve always been wary of flying; it remains one of my least favourite things to do. So I’m a firm believer in taking holidays/vacations within the UK. I’ve been outside of Scotland and the UK many times; I’ve travelled to America, France, Spain, Germany and even lived in London in my early twenties. I’m not exactly a seasoned traveller but I have a passport and I am not ignorant of other cultures, customs and socieities.
In the UK there has been a growing trend (mostly due to low cost airlines offering cheap flight deals) of families jetting off to Spain or Greece. I often worry and wonder about the impact that has on our environment and at what cost, other than the price people pay for their holidays, these trips come in at.
I’ve read conflicting studies about the envrionmental impact that jet fuels have on the environment; with obvious biases going this way and that when it comes to certain studies and for me the jury is still out on it.
With my overwhelming-must-take-Valium-and-lots-of-it fear of flying and my love for this part of the World (plus it helps if you have ‘connections’ aka parents who live in these parts) I think we will be having a lot of British holidays in our near future.